There’s only one right graphic for this. And this is it.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to commit Wednesday to delivering articles of impeachment to the Senate, citing concerns about an unfair trial on removing President Donald Trump from office.
Senior Democratic aides said the House was “very unlikely” to take the steps necessary to send the articles to the Senate until at least early January, a delay of at least two weeks and perhaps longer.
“So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” Pelosi told reporters at a news conference just moments after the House charged Trump with abuse of power and obstructing congressional investigations. “That would’ve been our intention, but we’ll see what happens over there.”
Pelosi’s comments, which echo suggestions raised by other Democrats throughout the day, inject new uncertainty into the impeachment timetable and send the House and Senate lurching toward a potential institutional crisis.
Though the House adopted two articles of impeachment charging Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of congressional investigations, it must pass a second resolution formally naming impeachment managers to present the case in the Senate. That second vehicle triggers the official transmission of articles to the Senate.
By delaying passage of that resolution, Pelosi and top Democrats retain control of the articles and hope to put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to adopt trial procedures they consider bipartisan.
What leverage does Speaker Pelosi think she has here?
McConnell has no interest in moving forward with impeachment. So Pelosi’s plan is to take impeachment hostage unless he moves on impeachment?
1. Pelosi never wanted to do this. She was pushed into it by her donor base. So this is an excuse for effectively tabling the whole thing and then working on some legislation that might actually help retain control of the House. And she can blame Mitch McConnell for it.
2. The idea is to threaten Trump with the idea of the Democrats taking the Senate. And then being able to actually impeach him. The odds of this though are way out there.
3. With the polls turning against them, the Democrats are in free fall. And jumping on anything that looks good. In this case, Turley’s article. They can’t impeach Trump. The whole process is going nowhere. And the public has turned against them. But the donor base demands it.
So that leaves them caught in their own trap and unable to escape. This is a potential exit hatch.
Slow the whole thing down. Buy time. Look for more options.
And then there’s always…
4. Pelosi is out of her mind.